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House Fire on Kennicott Destroys Garage, Second Floor

Sun November 09 2008 7:14 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=3445
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Attached garage fire and house fire: Video of the fire scene on the 3000 block of North Kennicott Avenue.

Arlington Heights Police and Fire personnel responded to a house fire in the 3000 block of North Kennicott Avenue immediately after the 9-1-1 center received several calls of a fully-involved garage and house fire at 3:35 a.m. Sunday. Arlington Heights Police officers arrived within two minutes to help with evacuation of residents, but all five residents — two adults and three grandchildren made it out of the house safely. When police first arrived they were alarmed because of the extent of the fire and the realization they did not see any of the occupants of the house outside. They soon realized the residents were coming around from the backyard.

Flames were blowing out the windows in the garage and starting to extend to the second floor by the time the police and fire department arrived. The fire was so severe that a defensive attack with a delayed interior attack was necessary. Because of the extreme heat and flying embers in a northwest wind, neighboring homes were protected from exposure by crews from Palatine Fire Department, while Arlington Heights Fire Department firefighters fought the fire. Palatine firefighters, along with firefighters from Buffalo Grove and Long Grove also assisted with the interior and exterior attack of the fire. The fire was able to get through the roof of the living area of the home, but was knocked down in good time without the need of water from Buffalo Grove’s Tower Ladder Truck. The ladder-tower was extended in case overhead water was needed and was also used as a vantage point to monitor the extension and suppression of the fire. Long Grove Squad 55 supplied water to Buffalo Grove Tower 25. The fire eventually moved toward the rear of the house in the attic over the kitchen and broke through the roof of the house and directly over the door the family had exited previously. The heavy fire took about 20 to 30 minutes to knock down with another crew attacking the fire from the rear door and rear roof. Firefighters also pulled down the ceiling in the kitchen and rear eave with pike poles to expose the fire and completely knock it down.

At the start of the emergency, the homeowner happened to wake up to a popping noise and went to check on his grandchildren. He saw an unusual light toward the front of the house by the front door and realized there was a fire. He went to awaken his wife and grandchildren and decided all five had to evacuate out a back door of the house because flames and heat prevented an exit from the front door. The garage and one car inside was already fully involved and eventually the garage was totally destroyed, except for an east and south wall. The homeowner had the sense to move a car on the driveway out of the way, and then go wake up one of his neighbors — he was worried that his neighbor’s cedar siding exposed by the fire would ignite.

Simultaneously, another neighbor awoke to a popping noise and thought that someone was breaking in his own garage. He went to the window and saw the house next door consumed by a blazing fire. He also called 9-1-1 immediately.

No injuries were reported. The house fire was a dangerous fire to the residents and to firefighters. The severity of the fire increased the risk of collapse of walls and roof structures. The fire woke many neighbors who came outside in cold weather and were very concerned about the safety of their neighbor.


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